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But it’s all an experience, doing car repairs en français. I’m amazed really, that at half past four on a Friday afternoon a) anyone is up for doing any work, and b) they can whip the wheel off, and the tyre, and fix a puncture, all within about 15 minutes.
Bar Gritty, opposite station, 2.30pm
I have just driven through the Fréjus tunnel from Modane, France to Bardonecchia, Italy. Coming out of the tunnel and seeing the buildings you are in no doubt that you're in a different country. I'm not sure what it is – the size of them, the style of roofs, or the windows – but they’re definitely different from French. I guess with the mountains ...
I'm in McDonalds because it’s open and it sells food. Finding something vegetarian that constitutes a meal is a little tricky. Two cheese croque-monsieurs, large fries and a vanilla milk shake. As I sit here in the four-seat diner style booth, I can smell something funny. It smells like a horse has ...
Plan Lachat, between Valloire and the Col du Galibier, 7pm
I'm part way through driving up to the Col du Galibier, a beast of a mountain. It’s such a beast of a mountain that many years ago when I was working in Valloire ...
... the wheel. Another positive, probably unrelated to tolls – at the petrol stations there are buckets of water with squeegee things to wash your windscreen. And they get the squashed flies off nicely. Actually, I might find the same things exist in the UK if I ever bought petrol at the services.
The Hotel St Georges is what I would call traditional. And very much the better for it. You are greeted ...